Happy New Year to anyone who is reading this. I hope you are all feeling ready for the year ahead and have many races, goals and dreams planned for it.
Before i talk about 2019, i wanted to look back on last year. I began blogging on here, in 2013. Then i joined a running forum on Facebook. Then another. Then i linked my Garmin to Strava and began to share my progress on there. And gradually, i blogged less on here, then kind of less everywhere and it all became a bit diluted. I was aware that if i achieved something, i didn’t want to write about it on every platform, as i had friends on more than one and i very rarely posted things on my ‘civilian’ Facebook page, as only running friends would get it!
So more for my own benefit, i wanted to summarise my achievements in one place, then i will know where i want to go in 2019:
I ran 6 marathons: The inaugural Southend Pier marathon in March, Brighton, where I knocked over 7 minutes off my PB, but missed going sub 4 hours, by just 18 seconds! London, a week later, Sussex Trail Events Arun River Marathon in May, then another STE race on one of the warmest June evenings, starting in the warm sunshine and finishing by headtorch light around 11pm. My last marathon was the 3rd time of running Beachy Head, in October: and extremely hilly, but enjoyable and social race.
At the beginning of the year, I joined a local running club, Steyning AC and began training with them once a week. The sessions have taken me out of my comfort zone (which is “out of the front door, plod pace for 60-90 mins, then home”) by doing hill and speed training. As a result, i knocked a whopping 90 seconds off my parkrun PB, with a time of 23.02. I also starting running races for Steyning AC, in the West Sussex Fun Run League, which i really enjoy.
Including the above races and 1 half marathon, with my training runs, i’ve only run 137 times in the whole of 2018: in September and November, i only ran 5 days in each month. For the whole year, i had only clocked up 721 miles, until my friend Jim mentioned a challenge called Marcothon - to run at least 5k, every day in December. I thought i’d take up the challenge, as my running (& and enthusiasm for it) was fast dwindling. As i began the challenge, i thought i set myself another one, within it; if i could run on average, 6 miles a day, i could complete the distance of 7 marathons in a month. And that’s what i achieved - 183.4 miles. My annual mileage was brought up to 905 miles, with 20% of that being run in the last month alone.
So, for my 2019 plans. I hadn’t entered any Spring marathons, although i’m regretting not doing Brighton again. I’m doing the STE Darkstar Marathon on the 27th January, which is a very muddy, 28 mile, riverbank race. A new, flat 20 mile race in March (a Mothersday gift to myself!) As a family, we are going to Palma in October, just for the weekend, when i will run the marathon there and finally, Beachy Head again. Because the well organised and friendly aid stations of sausage rolls, hot cross buns and cups of tea are just too amazing to miss! I’d like to run over 1000 miles this year. I’d like to run 3 seconds faster in a parkrun and 18 seconds in a marathon, if i can find a nice flat marathon to attempt it on. Lets just see what 2019 brings. I’ll be happy just to stay healthy and continue being able to do what i enjoy - being out there and going in a forwards direction, with a smile.
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